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The reality of the Patriots and the cap

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Crazy Patriot Guy, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. Crazy Patriot Guy

    Crazy Patriot Guy Rookie

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    #11 Jersey

    People get frustrated all the time when we let players walk as free agents or we don't make big splashes in free agency each year. With the extra cap space we are sitting on, people are complaining and calling the team cheap.

    The Pats aren't cheap, they're smart. They are fair with money. They offered Ty Law a ton of money. The Chiefs offered just a little bit more. We didn't win Super Bowls by out-bidding every team for every player.

    If Dan Snyder was an average joe, he would be in credit card debt. That's not the Patriots style. They would make sacrifices but still live comfortably.

    It's just plain wrong that people think we don't try. We went after players in free agency and some signed elsewhere. Guess what? Every team in the NFL went after players with some signing elsewhere.

    The Patriots can't get every player they go after. I think some people figure that every free agent is dying to come here and the only holdup is money. It's not that simple.

    It's real easy to say, "Hey, we have all this money, why not just give it to Branch and get him in camp?" Branch and his agent want him to get paid as an elite WR. The problem is that he is not an elite WR, he is just a very good one. "But we have the cap space, why not just budge a little and overspend?"

    After this season, assuming that Branch has been re-signed already, Koppen, Samuel and Graham will become free agents. What do we do if Koppen wants the largest contract for an OL in history, Samuel wants a contract that rivals Ronde Barber and Graham wants more money than Vernon Davis? Maybe we still have enough space and get the deals done. Then after the 2007 season, Wilson wants the same amount that Roy Williams just got. Ty Warren, with one year remaining on his contract, desides to hold out unless we pay him as much as Richard Seymour. Suddenly, we don't have all that money. Even with an increased salary cap, we're out of money. Fiscal responsibility is what has kept us competitive. We pay players fairly, we just don't get stupid.

    That's the reason we have so much cap space. The fact that we have money left over doesn't mean we didn't try to spend some of it. The fact that we didn't sign Ty Law doesn't mean we should give $5 million a year to someone else just because we have it.

    A guy goes to a Dodge dealership with $100,000 cash. He wants to buy a Viper. The dealer tells him that they don't have any Vipers but shows him a nice looking Charger. The guy decides he likes it and gives the dealer all $100,000 for it.

    Sounds stupid doesn't it? That's how a lot of people treat the Patriots when it comes to the salary cap. We shouldn't spend money if the value isn't there. We shouldn't give Branch a ridiculous contract just because we can afford it. (this season)

    We don't have $12 million left over because of being cheap. We have that money because we didn't buy a Charger for what a Viper is worth.
  2. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    EXCELLENT post. Well said. Very true.
  3. patsfan55

    patsfan55 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    hit the nail on the head

    the one thing about branch is i feel like we have to do something creative to at least get him in camp and ready to play for this year, if we hafta let him walk next season then we go after a free agent wr (stallworth is gonna be one right?) maybe a trade

    ive always loved the way the pats do their business, they dont overpay even if others do, there are always players available for the right price or undervalued that the pats can grab. the only problem is sometimes it can give us a shorterm problem at one position.

    the other thing they do is give in a little to guys if they ABSOLUTELY NEED them. aka brady, seymour.
  4. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Rookie

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    im also tired of people saying "Patriots are done" "They lost too much..bad season ahead"

    I mean lets face it, we been doing this since our first SB. we lose players. When we lost Milloy people were doubting us...we lose a lot of great players and develope other good 1s that are younger and cheaper for most part.

    we cut Willie to make some room for cap but supposivly resign him. Why would we let him walk if we had the money? WHY? Is our managment and coaching bad? I dont think so..you dont win 3 SBs in 4 years doing that. So whats the deal? Hes old, we dont overpay because we know the value of each player at what they can do for us in future aswell as now. Why let Givens walk when he was coming on better each year? Hes young..strong possesion WR and knows us well. So why let him walk? Is an ex 7th rounder who Brady made a more than he was capable of worth 5 years 24 million or whatever he got? No. We bring in a guy we thought we were comforatble with in Caldwell..we seen him play..we know his athletic and fast and got him cheap. Why didnt others pick him up? He was hurt a lot..he didnt showcase but Beioli know players well. People keep saying were stupid to let Vinatieri, McGinest, Givens walk but since we had all that money..why didnt we? Because we trust the decisions, our staff looks at value differently when it comes to pricing. We dont wanna end up like Washington where we get in cap trouble each year because we resign big players and pick up other pick ones and screw our cap each year. What if they had major injuries like we have? Would they pick someone up iwth better quality? Unlikely when your pushed against cap. We, or at least I, trust our organization in what they do, ive watched favorite players walk but it happens, weve been doing it, we've comeback to SBs..we have continued winning without resigning everyone and without overpaying guys we really shouldnt. We brought in high quality free agents every few years. We got Colvin, Harrison and Poole awhile back and all were high quality players. We brought in Dillon. We know what were doing, let the front office handle it and deny us during the season if we ever start doing horribly and miss playoffs compared to denying us now because of FA's.
  5. R_T26

    R_T26 Banned

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    You have a good point. But if you keep letting good players go, the talent of the team becomes dilluded, and you cant compete forever on second tier free agents. How many times are we going to hear we cant sign andruzzi because givens contract is coming up, we cant sign givens because branch;s contract is coming up, we cant sign koppen because warrens contract is up, we cant sign warren because wilson's contract is coming up. When I read in the paperthat the starting inside LB's at practice were don davis and barry gardner, that scared me, because Im really starting to feel this team lacks depth, and its sad because there is still 15 mill available. and im sure someone will say stop being negative, but they will probably be the same people who said that the patriots would be at the cap by training camp. Even using some of the space for seymours bonus and a new deal for branch would still leave the Pats with enough money. If they dont use all the cap space this year it will be pretty disheartening when you think they could of basically fit Vinateri's entire contract under the 2006 cap alone. Maybe with the cap going up 20 mill this year, the Krafts feel its too high and are putting restraints on the front office, because this team has a lot of depth issues for a team with super bowl aspirations.
  6. R_T26

    R_T26 Banned

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    People always say the redskins are in Cap hell, yet every year they are the big spenders in free agency. So which year exactly did the redskins have to purge their entire team. The Cap hell is a myth or an excuse for incompetent GM's because theirs ways to get out of it quickly. the fact is your usually going to have to pay more money for good players. Our LB's and WR depth is very worrisome.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2005
  7. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Krafts don't put any restraints on the cap. Belioli simply can only spend on talent that fits the system. This was a meager FA season to begin with and many of those players re-signed because their own teams suddenly had money to retain them. And they won't overspend on any talent because in doing that it will not allow them somewhere down the road to pay market for some other talent they also need that does fit the system. Part of the system is players caring more about winning than every last dollar in personal finances and individual awards and stats. Belioli don't just talk it they walk it too. Both could leave here and double their takehome. They'd rather stay here for a little less (and in Pioli's case millions less) and continue building and maintaining a dynasty.

    The Patriots aren't going to pull it all off and win every season. There, I said it. They will always strive to win. But they are built to be competitive for the long haul. They do that by adhering to principles on and off the field and where finances are concerned as well. Some HC's and GM's just want to win at any cost and then they move on and leave a mess for the next poor fool in line to deal with. Belioli want to win and win some more and when they leave they want this franchise to remain on sound footing from a football and financial standpoint so the guys who replace them and the ownership who supported them won't be left cleaning up a mess. They will have a blueprint to follow if they choose to. And ownership will likely insist they follow it by and large.

    Part of that blueprint revolves around accountability. They don't look to agents or media or fans to tell them what a players value is to this team. They take responsibility for setting those parameters themselves deviod of emotion and sticking to them. So far they've been right in every instance. Either the guy was overvalued or he was replaced by a player or players for less than it took someone to sign him or he's proved to be worth exactly what they said he was (even when he said that was an insult).
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2005
  8. PatsFanInVa

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    I agree somewhat with what R_T26 is saying, minus the spelling issues.

    Now don't get me wrong. I don't think we've screwed the pooch this season; far from it. Let's have a look at the pluses and minuses:

    minuses
    1) Icewater-for-blood kicker Adam Vinatieri. We no longer have the Adam Vinatieri who won countless games, including two super bowls, on his golden foot alone.
    1a) Side-note: We quite possibly weren't going to have him, even if we paid him, looking at last year's performance. Very good, but not unbelievably so. Time will tell. But we weren't going to pay him marquis money like the Colts were willing to give -- multiples of the amount other good kickers get -- so good bye and good luck.
    2) Willie. This one breaks my heart. Again though, we lost a guy who had devolved into LUMBERING into great performances. God knows how he managed to lumber into the right place at the right time, but he did. The point is though, he was as good as he was -- and he's past the peak. Would I love not to have the headaches at LB? Oh HELL yes. Tough loss.
    3) Givens. Ah, yeah. The guy playing #2 on a spread offense, who wanted #1 money. The loss is felt, because after #1 and #2 talent it gets pretty sparse out there, and the Pats are dipping into that pool. But (see below) I think they dipped pretty wisely.
    4) Tom Ashworth. A good, solid starter, not a league killer. And his loss isn't a team-killer.

    Pluses
    1) Gostkowski, acquired in draft. Stronger leg than Vinatieri, accuracy thus far not a concern. Everyone wants him to do it under pressure. Okay, sure. Point taken. But let me spin this another way, being a homer: How many TDs and FGs do you take away from your opponent by burying him at the 20 on most kickoffs? How about inside the 20? Gost can do that. AV couldn't. You take away a score a game that way, and the pressure is off, because you're not always kicking the key, high pressure, most important kick in the world. You're kicking the insurance kick.
    2) Reche Caldwell, from all accounts, is ready to make a jump. He's already a dependable number 3, if not number 2.
    3) Deion is not off the freakin' team, he's just not in camp. Something tells me he doesn't just walk.
    4) Seymour is ours through this decade
    5) Brady is ours through the decade too
    6) If you look at this Patriots draft as anything other than killer, you're looking at it from a draft-by-need perspective.
    7) To wit: Kicker (see above); More TE depth; more OL depth; and perhaps most importantly, the RB of the future and probably an instant #2 or #3 receiver this season, likely to bloom into a #1.

    "Zig when they zag," "Buy low sell high" note:
    This draft was headlined by a positively phenomenal rb we could not dream of getting, Reggie Bush. He's a once a decade guy. Corrolary: other RBs this year were "everybody else". Maroney may have been the first back taken in another year, and we get him at 21. And Kool-Aid in the second? Are you kiddin' me? Possibly the best receiver in the draft and you don't even use a 1 for him. To sum up: the Pats, drafting in the bottom third, get what could be two top 10 to top 15 guys in another year, using a first and a second.

    well-addressed positions:
    - Running Back
    - Kicker (didn't even mention Gramatica; I don't think he makes it, but maybe we keep 2 if he keeps running neck and neck with Guts.)
    - WR, with the proviso that YES, dammit, I wanted Javon Walker or somebody, and with the caveat that this assumes Branch shows up.

    Holes

    LB
    I would love to see development of the Minceys, the TBCs, the Chad Browns... but the observation is true that this team isn't going to be strong at LB like 2003, for example. What's missing in this analysis is that EVEN WITH THE PLAYERS FROM 2003, it's not 2003 anymore. Ted Johnson retired at the top of his career, or just off-peak; Willie Mac cashed in sometime after his absolute prime, leveraging one very good game, three pieces of jewelry, and an amateur appreciation of Shakespeare ("Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo? [which by the way doesn't mean where are you, but why do you have to be Romeo? I just didn't want to get pinged on that.]

    DBs: On the Order of Law?
    This young crew is only getting better (thank God - there were times last year when the Pats seemed to be experimenting again with the "sieve" defense they use to use in bad old days. HOWEVER, everybody in the team does not get injured every year. Rodney comes back at some point, probably in the first few weeks. Wilson could become the Wilson of 04, either just by stepping up the awareness, or certainly if not then, once Rodney is back to set the tempo. Hobbs is a definite keeper. Samuel made huge strides. Everybody's a year more healed and a year better... although again, YES, Ty Law would make us better, we are still better than in 05. We might look back at 06 as the year it became apparent that Hobbs, Samuel, or Wilson were legit stars on the order of Law or Milloy.

    My concern is still that the Pats find ways to move this money forward, once Branch is done. My belief is that there is no problem in doing that.

    Within the Belioli model, you don't spend to spend. I'm not sure how long they can hold the line with the cap inflation coming, and maybe their benchmarks bear re-examining. But I think they routinely work in multi-year considerations, when it comes to the cap wizardry.

    You'll notice the Skins don't end up actually buying those championships they try to buy. This isn't baseball. The cap is real, and Washington is about to end up with a SF style fire-sale, without the rings to show for it.

    As for our Pats... don't rule out a late surprise signing, and don't rule out that Belioli are done for this offseason either. We just need the testicular fortitude to recognize that the Pats said "here's the money you're worth to us," and enough people said "uh uh," so the "system" produced the result you see today.

    Just bear in mind, it also produced three Lombardis. And if this year we end up with a fourth, all our apprehension about missing linebackers and kickers(!), will seem very, very silly.

    PFnV
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  9. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Had the TV deals not bumped the cap some $12 additional million this season the Redskins were facing not being able to field a 53 man roster. They have no core or continuity because rather than engaging in team building they have engaged in ecclectic talent collecting. They can only keep doing that because the franchise and Snyder have the revenue stream and personal wealth to pay cash over cap and just keep pushing amortized money into the future to lower the cap hits in the present to accommodate all the dead cap that his acquisitions leave in their wake. If the cap implodes it may never catch up to them.

    But they also may never win. We've won the Lombardi in half of Belioli's first 6 years here, and it's not like they inherited a winner either. They inherited a football franchise nicknamed the Patsies and almost as cursed as the baseball franchise that had operated in the area for 86 in a championship drought. And within 4 years they had people using the D word to describe what was evolving here.

    Show me a splashy FA talent collector whose won 3 in 5 in the salary cap era and then we can start criticizing or second guessing the way these guys conduct our football business.
  10. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    Pats have had tremendous injuries and won it all. Teams like Wash are cooked after one or two injuries.

    However, I don't see how the Pats couldn't draft or pickup a LB.

    They did the same thing at RB when Smith was fading. Now they've filled in well at RB, DLine, OLine and safety IMO but left one position weak as they seem to do every year.

    Of course they don't get stuck with fading players and huge cap hits either.

    I guess the Pats maintain great flexibility this way and Bob knows they have patience.

    It's just frustrating they will leave a position weak when it seems an average player could help.
  11. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The koolaid tastes good. However, I don't see how the team would have been harmed by paying a LB or WR $6M for playing this year with the same salary next year.
    ---------------------------------------
    PLAYERS GONE
    VINITIERI - He wanted to go to a dome. He was a severely downward trend. He limited our offense last year, and would more so this year. We needed to make a change. Production might take more than one year to be at last year's level, but should improve over the next year or so.
    MCGINIST - He wanted to play for Crennel, be the defensive team leader, and help develop the defense. Crennel offered a lot. There is no evidence that the patriots were given any opportunity to match. All indications are that even if we did, McGinist would still be playing in Cleveland. Whether Willie would have been worth $5M a year to us is a completely different issue. I think "yes". As I said, it likely doesn't matter since WIllie didn't want to play for the pats for $5M.
    GIVENS - I'd rather have Caldwell and Jackson. However, I would have overpaid a veteran for a year or so. Givens wasn't worth near what he will be paid.
    ASHWORTH - Kaycur's injury is the only reason this is even an issue. We are well stocked with Light, Kaycur, Gorin, O'Callaghan and Britt.

    EXTENDING PLAYERS
    This would not necessary add anything to the cap. Graham and Koppen are at $1.6M each. An extension wouldn't change that much. Extending Branch would add a couple of million at most, less from Samuel.

    PIOLI's 2006 YEAR STRATEGY
    Moving money into 2007 makes little sense since we will not need it there. In the end, Pioli simply didn't want to pay inflated prices this year. At the time the CBA was being negotiated, we discussed the possibility that we would be disadvantaged this year, with almost everyone having lots of cap money. It remains to be seen how much this situation changes next year.

    THE CAR DEALERSHIP ANALOGY
    Ok, let's say for the past three years, we could get the car we want for $50K. This year the prices are$100K and many are willing to buy the car. We are given $100K to buy are the, much more than we had available last year. Is the answer really to let everyone else buy the cars and ride a bicycle for a year?
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  12. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Another Dealership Analogy

    Righto. Let's put it this way: agents are the dealers. Belioli are the guys that go to Carfax, take the car to the mechanic, test drive it twice, and, even if they like it, try to get a deal. Snyder is the guy that says "wow! new upholstery! And I heard it could go 0-60 in 3.9 seconds in 2001... I'd better top what you're asking in case someone matches."

    Or to use the real estate analogy, Snyder treats every year like 2005 in the housing market... "I might not get to buy in at all!!!! I better offer over asking price!" Belioli treat every year like a buyer's market.

    The result is, they refuse to buy in a panic, and maybe they will look back and conclude that this year they were sluggish to change paradigms. They just don't strike me to be the FO that naps on an important new financial trend.

    Keep these kool-aid facts in mind:

    1) BB/SP "mistakes" usually turn out to be "method in the madness" situations

    2) When you shoot for an upgrade by buying a "star," you are likely to get an upgrade. When you shoot for an upgrade by buying "average," to replace "up and coming," you are buying a bigger injury risk and a risk that a guy's tank is geting close to empty.... so it's only an upgrade if the guy you have just plain sucks. I think Belioli like the "devil they know" a lot of the time.

    3) Law for a year (maybe) at corner, then another couple at safety (where we're in less trouble,) being paid like a cb for a number of years, or.... what's behind door number 2? Granted the money was there to buy a year or three of Law back. But then we've got the problem at corner again next year. Now as fans, we'd feel good about a Law homecoming this year, but these guys aren't fans, they're businessmen. Gut reaction? After you've left NE and played for player-friendly Herm, don't you want to stay with that guy once you've got your bling? NE is known for being focused, dour, businesslike, etc. Herm's place is always a party. Hell, I might do the same thing if I were Law. Maybe we were just a pawn to up the ante in KC. Who knows. Speculation.

    4) I woulda wanted Brad Kassel of TN, and I definitely would want Donnie Edwards... but evidently what I see and what the NE front office sees at LB, differ.

    The bottom line is, really, drink the kool-aid. This is an unsatisfying conclusion from the day-to-day perspective, and a particular frustration/pleasure of BB-era New England fandom. On every other team, the criticism is something you might be right or wrong on, and you might have a great record against the actual front office of that team. With NE, reason tends to appear down the road a month or a year, or even two. But it's rare that the rationale doesn't eventually materialize.

    Who knows, BB & co. might look back at this year and say "Dammit if I could just go one million more on three different guys, it would be ring #4!!!!" Somehow, though, I don't see that happening.

    Preparation and smart management of the business side are so much a part of this organization, that I hesitate to speculate on what BB/SP talk about over Chinese food. It seems to me, though, there are names, figures, and trends being thrown around that we don't have a clue about. Not to mention any new Xs and Os we get to hear about come the regular season.

    One side note about what it "buys" us to push money forward to next year, which is also going to be cap-inflated:

    Well, for one thing, if BB/SP see next year's potential FA class as having mo better Pats type players, that is one explanation. Theoretically, they would have the cash for a spree, or they could bank some against... you guessed it... yet other years. At some point this cash situation stabilizes, and I doubt the Pats are just trying to hoard the cash to develop real estate next to Gilette.

    Maybe Branch costs more than we're figuring in up-front money, although the real question is no longer up-front, but guaranteed money.

    Maybe there's something totally unreported and unexpected in the wings.

    Maybe Chad Brown was playing last year with a leg broken in eight places, and we just didn't know about it. Okay, maybe he just sucked last year. But still.

    Until further information is available (the "whys" of 2006,) I'll just be a kool-aid drinkin' fool. I feel you guys on the "huh?" front, in terms of why we didn't move more in FA. I just think, given the Pats' track record and the secrecy BB/SP tend to use, this is a less nonsensical offseason than it looks.

    Preparing for my big "aha!" moment,

    PFnV
  13. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    This is a good thread. I should've read this thread before starting another, similar one elsewhere. But the below list, I believe, puts the Patriots in a unique spot vs. the rest of the league.

    What I posted:

    Yes, I know that in each individual case, the re-signing cost was too prohibitive or the player copped an attitude, etc., etc., that did not fit the Belipioli model. (Exception here being Curtis Martin.) All teams have lost talented players to big-money free agent contracts. But this is a pretty mindboggling list of players that I doubt any other team can match, as far as guys with something left in the tank who've flown the coop. One can't help but fantasize what it would be like if all these guys were still wearing blue and silver. Have I forgotten anyone? Of course, the league continues to debate the Patriots' front office philosophy re., "system" vs. "talent," yet our three Lombardis speak for themselves. Still, I feel this season puts the Belipioli model to test like no other.

    Ty Law

    Lawyer Milloy

    Willie McGinest

    David Givens

    Damien Woody

    Joe Andruzzi

    Adam Vinatieri

    David Patten

    Tom Ashworth

    Terry Glenn

    Drew Bledsoe

    Greg Spires

    Curtis Martin
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  14. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Why not? What team has done better than the patriots lately? You have to go back to the mid-90's and the Cowboys.

    Everyone who signs FAs signs mostly second tier. You can't afford a team of all first tier, and no one has yet shown that the team with teh most talented players wins. You WISH we had second tier FAs in 2001. The starting lineup was clogged with vet FA minimum players.

    It is the group of playes that play best as a team that wins, not the team with the best players. Anyway, no team that has three of four elite players can afford many very good players to fill out the squad.

    Staying the line with fiscal restraint keeps the team on course. Keep it level, in good times and bad. Why screw it up now when it has worked so well.

    The good thing is that BB could give a crap who fans want to sign. He will sign the players that will most help the team at the value he sees them as being worth. And ignore those who don't like the methods that won us three superbowls.
  15. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Go back to Patriots 101...you obviously don't understand what this team has done..
  16. Murphys95

    Murphys95 Rookie

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    Good topic. I just wanted to throw the following quote into the discussion. It comes from Education of a Coach:

    "He (BB) did not want to throw money at seemingly dazzling players who might bring a team a quick fix and then a long downward descent, but who might also regard their big-ticket free agent salary as a reward long due them, while at the same time throwing your own team's salary structure -and emotional balance- out of whack. Pro football had never been a place for coaches who were sentimental; in the era of the salary cap, sentiment became even more of a weakness."
  17. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Let's hope the Belipioli model doesn't settle into a perennial 10-6 team that can't make it past the second round of the playoffs. I also hope we don't look back on this management system years down the road and realize that the missing key ingredients were Charlie and Romeo.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  18. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We have unintentional BINGO! What do all those guys have in common?

    They all made their names as Patriots. With two exceptions -- Law and Martin -- they have been less than spectacular on their new teams.

    In Law's case I'm going to give the interception counters the benefit of the doubt. Of course we're all homers, and we all say he sucked in coverage w/the Jets, except for those 10 plays... but when he's available? If the price is right we all want him back!

    In Martin's case, that Robert Edwards guy was gonna be the man... until that freaking pro bowl incident. Call it the first "shot across the bow," that we wouldn't be considering you irreplaceable regardless of talent... unless it was truly world-beating (the Seymour and Brady exception to the Belioli rule.)

    But the general trend, especially in the last few years, is for guys to get all sorts of coverage for their Patriots achievements, on Super Bowl teams, and then to be mere mortals elsewhere. Spires has ramped it up somewhat since his (pre-SB) NE days, but he's still certainly not any kind of Seymourian talent - for that matter, I would take Warren over Spires playing in the Pats' system. Warren gets at-the-line tackles and assists; Spires has gotten decent sack totals, but is low on the tackles by comparison. And it took Spires until 2004 to exceed his previous career high 6 sacks with the Pats. What did we lose in Spires, playing in the Pats system? A talented backup. I think that makes him Jarvis Green.

    It's no secret you can put together a pretty good team from Belioli castoffs. Hell, you may as well just reach into BB's "coaching tree" to coach it, like 2 out of the other 3 AFCE teams, plus the Browns in the AFCN.

    But in most cases that indicates starters elsewhere not as good as the guys the Pats developed.

    By the way, you left off Bledsoe ;)

    PFnV
  19. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Overall I had no major problems with the offseason. I would have liked a few moves to help areas of concern but that is why Bill & Scott make the big bucks..

    Letting people walk and not breaking the bank on mostly overrated players. The only exception being Vinatieri, this was questionable. Not because Adam is my favorite but because of the low money value and the impact on the draft. A 4th rounder is a stiff price for a kicker, I would have much rather seen the Pats add some youth the LB core (Leon Williams, Jamar Williams). Maybe the extra cap money could have been used to help the long term core.

    This should be a highly competitive team although it may not be dominant. As currently setup I have question marks about LB depth, CB depth and WR depth. Concerns about depth are good problems to have. First game is this Friday, can't wait.

    My off-season
    Givens, Willie - Bye, thank you for the memories.
    Dwight, Davis - bye, bye.
    Neal - Critical signing, solidifies O line. Welcome back.
    Seymour - "The quarterback on the other team said you were soft, go show him how soft you are!!!"
    Law - Would have been a nice story, much too much $, not worth it.
    Vinatieri - Franchise and work on extension, using terms from Indy deal cap cost would be about 2.0, 2.5
    CB - Sign a mid tier guy like Andre Dyson or Will Allen. Not stars but would form a nice core of players under contract. I am not sold on Warfield. Cap cost - $1.0 - $1.5
    Draft - erase kicker from 4th round, pick Leon Williams, LB, Miami
    - consider drafting a WR instead of Mills
    - use 3rd rounder from 2007 on Ahmad Brooks

    Unit by unit
    - Long Term Core = players signed beyond this season

    OL
    - happy with where we are at, if Koppen can come back strong this may be a strength of the team
    - signing Neal was critical, it would have been a mess to patch RT, RG
    - Long Term Core (Light, Neal, Mankins, Kanzur, O'Callahan, Hochstein, Stevenson)

    QB
    - veteran backup would be nice but if Brady goes down we are dead anyway
    - Long Term Core (Brady, Cassel)

    WR
    - a little thin, perfect world Branch gets signed
    - some additional veteran depth at the bottom would be nice but the prices were too high
    - Long Term Core, my perfect world (Branch, Jackson, Caldwell & someone else)

    RB
    - love the versatility and promise the groups shows
    - Long Term Core (Dillion, Maroney, Faulk)

    TE
    - like the drafting of Thomas
    - feel Watson is a freak but he may be a little over rated (31 catches in 2 seasons)
    - not sold on Mills, maybe he is a FB, who knows..
    - Long Term Core (Watson, Thomas, Mills)

    CB (would have added a mid tier veteran)
    - Sign a mid tier guy like Andre Dyson or Will Allen. Not stars but would form a nice core of players under contract. I am not sold on Warfield. Cap cost - $1.0 - $1.5
    - Long Term Core (Hobbs, Dyson, Gay, maybe Wilson)

    S
    - hopefully Rodney can come back
    - T. Buck should help special teams, sorry to hear about Mitchell
    - maybe take a flyer on Mike Green from Chicago, he was traded to Seattle for a 2007 6th rounder
    - Long Term Core (Harrison, Wilson, Mike Green, Sanders, T. Buck)


    D line
    - signing Big Sey solidifies line
    - Long Term Core (Seymour, Warren, Wilfork, LeKevin Smith)

    LB (area of focus, weakness of off-season)
    - pick Leon Williams in round 4
    - here is where it gets crazy, use 3rd rounder from 2007 for Ahmad Brooks
    - 2006 reserves \ backups (Brooks, Alexander, Williams, Mincey) ,add a lot of speed, youth and athleticism to LB core
    - Long Term Core, my perfect world (Bruschi, Vrabel, Colvin, Brooks, Alexander, Williams, Mincey, Roach)
  20. BelizePats

    BelizePats Rookie

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    hard to argue with any of that!

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